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Father/daughter duo makes strides with assessment and intervention service, Sajirah

Mickella Anderson: Youthlink Writer
It has been a lifelong mission of the Reverend Dr James Gibbs to asssist children and young people, especially those who are often deemed as products of a 'system'. He told Youthlink, "It was the system that helped me and I have always wanted to give back to the system. I want to let these children realise that where I am today, I wasn't born like this, but I didn't allow the system to hold me back."
Now, with his daughter Jaime by his side, he is giving back in a big way. Named Sajirah, Gibbs' company offers a range of psychological, academic, career and personality assessments to its clientele, most of which is facilitated online and instantaneously. "Guidance counsellors are under a lot of pressure in the system. I'm trying to do my little part here to see if I can help some of the students and their parents," he said.
How it works
"Our systems are installed in the schools. We give the school a password and that school logs on to the system," said Gibbs. Having worked with over 60 schools already, he illustrated, "For twenty minutes, the guidance counsellor asks you (the parent) 115 questions about your child. When she is finshed, she can turn the computer screen around and show you a profile of your child with 25 to 28 competencies; show you the graphs of where the child is normal in behaviour; and show you also the graph where the child is at risk, and where the child is clinical and in serious problems."
Cost
For Gibbs, a most worrying trend of some parents is not acknowledging the cognitive needs of children who appear normal on the surface. He says he hopes to reach every parent and child by making his services as affordable as possible. Currently, a cognitive and social assessment costs $2,500, while an academic and career assessment costs $4,500. PLEASE SEE sajirah, 6 "Guidance counsellors are under a lot of pressure in the system. I'm trying to do my little part to see if I can help some of the students and their parents." The directors of Sajirah Assessments Intervention Services Limited. Cost
For Gibbs, a most worrying trend of some parents is not acknowledging the cognitive needs of children who appear normal on the surface. He says he hopes to reach every parent and child by making his services as affordable as possible. Currently, a cognitive and social assessment costs $2,500, while an academic and career assessment costs $4,500.
The former minister of religion said, "I asked the church to release me four years ago so I could pursue this full-time and they did. For the past eight years, everything that has happened to this programme has come out of my personal finances. I'm hoping that down the line, when I'm not around, the children can benefit from it."
A family business
The three-member Sajirah team includes Dr Kai Morgan, clinical psychologist and lecturer in community health and psychiatry at the Universtity of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; and Gibbs'daughter, 23-year-old Jamie, who is a psychology major at UWI.
About her role at Sajirah, he explained, "Setting up the system, showing the teachers and guidance counsellors to use the system, Jamie does that." He said she is likely to become his successor. "I like what I'm doing and I hope that Jamie will continue to take it forward so that all the children in Jamaica can benefit."
Corporate support
"This is not about me or Jamie now, it's about the children," said Gibbs. "What I need right now is support from the corporate world, and I'm deliberate in saying this. I've said to politicians that the children can't use the desks and chairs, neither can they understand the books if their psychological structure is not there, so help me to help them; to be able to provide the assessment."
To find out more about Sajirah, contact Dr Gibbs at 534-0653 or 990-6490. You can also visit www.sajirahja.com or email sajirahpsych@gmail.com.

Children can't use the desks and chairs, neither can they understand the books if their psychological structure is not there.

Mickella Anderson
Youthlink Writer
It has been a lifelong mission of the Reverend Dr James Gibbs to asssist children and young people, especially those who are often deemed as products of a 'system'. He told Youthlink, "It was the system that helped me and I have always wanted to give back to the system. I want to let these children realise that where I am today, I wasn't born like this, but I didn't allow the system to hold me back."
Now, with his daughter Jaime by his side, he is giving back in a big way. Named Sajirah, Gibbs' company offers a range of psychological, academic, career and personality assessments to its clientele, most of which is facilitated online and instantaneously. "Guidance counsellors are under a lot of pressure in the system. I'm trying to do my little part here to see if I can help some of the students and their parents," he said.
How it works
"Our systems are installed in the schools. We give the school a password and that school logs on to the system," said Gibbs. Having worked with over 60 schools already, he illustrated, "For twenty minutes, the guidance counsellor asks you (the parent) 115 questions about your child. When she is finshed, she can turn the computer screen around and show you a profile of your child with 25 to 28 competencies; show you the graphs of where the child is normal in behaviour; and show you also the graph where the child is at risk, and where the child is clinical and in serious problems."
Cost
For Gibbs, a most worrying trend of some parents is not acknowledging the cognitive needs of children who appear normal on the surface. He says he hopes to reach every parent and child by making his services as affordable as possible. Currently, a cognitive and social assessment costs $2,500, while an academic and career assessment costs $4,500. 
PLEASE SEE sajirah, 6 
"Guidance counsellors are under a lot of pressure in the system. I'm trying to do my little part to see if I can help some of the students and their parents." 
The directors of Sajirah Assessments Intervention Services Limited. 
Cost
For Gibbs, a most worrying trend of some parents is not acknowledging the cognitive needs of children who appear normal on the surface. He says he hopes to reach every parent and child by making his services as affordable as possible. Currently, a cognitive and social assessment costs $2,500, while an academic and career assessment costs $4,500.
The former minister of religion said, "I asked the church to release me four years ago so I could pursue this full-time and they did. For the past eight years, everything that has happened to this programme has come out of my personal finances. I'm hoping that down the line, when I'm not around, the children can benefit from it."
A family business
The three-member Sajirah team includes Dr Kai Morgan, clinical psychologist and lecturer in community health and psychiatry at the Universtity of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; and Gibbs'daughter, 23-year-old Jamie, who is a psychology major at UWI.
About her role at Sajirah, he explained, "Setting up the system, showing the teachers and guidance counsellors to use the system, Jamie does that." He said she is likely to become his successor. "I like what I'm doing and I hope that Jamie will continue to take it forward so that all the children in Jamaica can benefit."
Corporate support
"This is not about me or Jamie now, it's about the children," said Gibbs. "What I need right now is support from the corporate world, and I'm deliberate in saying this. I've said to politicians that the children can't use the desks and chairs, neither can they understand the books if their psychological structure is not there, so help me to help them; to be able to provide the assessment."
To find out more about Sajirah, contact Dr Gibbs at 534-0653 or 990-6490. You can also visit www.sajirahja.com or email sajirahpsych@gmail.com.
Children can't
use the desks and chairs,
neither can they understand the books if their
psychological structure is not the